Updated: Apr 7, 2022
If there is one thing, and there are many, I learned during the pandemic, it is the true color of my hair. Those pesky roots, which normally are shown the door every 6 weeks or so, had run of the place. I was accustomed to the pale, grayish white tones in front and on top. They blend in nicely with blonde. What surprised me was the dark hair underneath in the back. What? A blonde since birth - with a little help the past few decades - I was shocked to see this foreign color had moved in, without asking.
My roots, which have became the only friend I made during the pandemic, got very comfortable. Really comfortable. In the midst of the virus not going away, and the variants coming in, and all the rest of it, I actually thought about, well, going gray.
Difficult to type it no less do it.
To that end I a little Googling. Along the way I found possibly the most talked about hairdresser when it comes to going gray, Jack Martin. Follow him on Instagram -@jackmartincolorist - and be amazed at the transformations he performs, including the recently-gone-gray Jane Fonda. His “gray” is sophisticated and silver and sleek and stylish. Women go to his salon in Tustin, California, from all over just for his 10 hour go- gray marathons. And going gray is not just for women of a certain age anymore. Twenty somethings to eighty something-elses have made gray the new blonde.
But if the idea of no more coloring, and roots, etc. is your goal, keep in mind there is some maintenance involved when choosing to “color” your hair gray. That’s if the gray you're seeing is not the gray you want. It's also if the idea of growing out roots for 12 months does not appeal to you. And why would it? There are a few choices when growing out hair color to au naturel: Go full bore and wait it out, cut it to speed up the process, or color it.
Depending on what hair color you begin with, black being the most challenging, the process of growing out and blending in gray is varied. There is even a hashtag “grombre” on Instagram. Who knew? Another consideration is the appropriate color gray so you don’t go all grandma too soon, or ever (see Jane above). Just like any hair color, your skin tone plays an important role too - warm or cool? You don’t want to look like an over-flowing ashtray either so toners or highlights could come in handy. A good hairdresser will guide you to ensure the best possible gray experience for your personal style.
Now more than ever there are lots of options when it comes to gray hair. I’ve listed a few links below to give you some ideas. There are also a number of stories in the links where you can read about other women's journeys, just in case you might feel today's the day to gray!
As for me, ummm, not there yet, but I’ll let you know.
Please feel free to share your going-going-gone gray story in comments!
top two photos courtesy of Jack Martin Salon and The Insider
bottom photo courtesy of blacknaps.org